December 24, 1979 12:00 PM

They are a motley band. Yet it’s easy to feel for them. Call this group Fleeting Luck, the Fretful Dead—they were called worse—but all could bounce back before drifting into the Voidoids. So welcome, please (clockwise from bottom left), the Losers of 1979.

Susan B. Anthony’s new life as a coin head hasn’t been a total loss. Some 270 million of the little quarter lookalikes have made it into circulation so far. But that leaves almost 500 million newly minted bucks waiting to be passed. Treasury is out of ideas, short of giving Susan a head-and tail-lift.

Woody Hayes, 66, is listed at Ohio State University as professor of history emeritus. But the lessons of his own past have been plainly over his head. The first few times he punched players, school officials went easy on him. But this time Woody went to the showers. He turned—where else?—to the lecture circuit.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, 60, former Canadian PM, will be marked as one who loved not wisely but the wrong dame altogether. Estranged wife Margaret, 31, continued her jet-set dating game all year, stole his election-eve headlines with dribblings from her marital and extramarital memoir, Beyond Reason—and went discoing in Manhattan the night his mandate slipped away. Now resigning the Liberal party leadership as well, unlucky Pierre was recently spotted in a Manhattan disco himself, recouping with a girl named Linda.

Princess Margaret, 49, left her layabout Roddy Llewellyn briefly this year to tell the Irish Catholic mayor of Chicago that the Irish are pigs. Happily, Margaret returned to London and may be shaping up. Two weeks ago she gave an award at the London Shoe Show and managed not to put her foot in it.

James Schlesinger, 50, gets the 1979 award for worst-chosen enemies. As the first Secretary of the new Department of Energy, he alienated Mexicans, who produce natural gas; Arabs, who produce oil; consumers, who depend on both; and White House topsiders, who shut off his power supply.

Herman Talmadge, 66, the Georgia senator, says his problem was bookkeepers. The Senate charged he overreported expenses, an aide accused him of campaign-fund chicanery—and his freshly divorced wife, Betty, said he’d kept an overcoat stuffed with $100 bills in the hall closet. Herman said he had generous friends. The Senate demanded more than $37,000 back and “denounced” but didn’t censure him. Herman called that a “victory.” He’s cruising for another one in his upcoming bid for reelection.

Farrah Fawcett, 32, dehyphenated husband Lee Majors and axed agent Jay Bernstein. Her first starring role, Somebody Killed Her Husband, became a Hollywood joke: Somebody Killed Her Career. Singed again in Sunburn, she’s now taken up with rake-about-town Ryan O’Neal and is promising a new image in 1980. Her hopes ride on a space flick called Saturn 3. Ominously, manager Marge Schicktanz says, “She’s really down-to-earth.”

Steve Rubell says, “I wake up thinking, ‘My God, they’re still going to sentence me after this year.’ ” Indeed they are—within the month in federal court, where the 36-year-old impresario of Studio 54 pleaded guilty to income tax evasion after trying to bargain down or out by accusing Ham Jordan of using coke. Since the feds sniffed at that deal, Steve is laying out a new line. “I made a big mistake,” he says of the tax charge. “I don’t blame anyone but myself.”

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